“Let Every Saint Thy Glory See”: Reflections on our Attitude in Approaching the Table of the Lord
I’ve been thinking lately of the mood or attitude or spiritual perspective that ought to characterize our approach to the Lord’s Table. Many gravitate to one of two extremes. Some come sullen and sad, while others draw near with a joy that often borders on frivolity. Continue reading . . .
I’ve been thinking lately of the mood or attitude or spiritual perspective that ought to characterize our approach to the Lord’s Table. Many gravitate to one of two extremes. Some come sullen and sad, while others draw near with a joy that often borders on frivolity.
It’s important that we do not confuse spiritual sobriety with somberness. Yes, partaking of the Eucharist is serious, but it is not sad. The elements lead us to the Cross, but they never leave us there. The elements are also designed to carry us on to an empty tomb and a celebration of the risen Christ and his soon return!
Is it possible then to be both reverent and to rejoice? Yes!
Never come to the Lord’s Table thinking that by partaking of these elements you are pacifying an angry God. Never come to the Table thinking that by doing so you are transforming an irritable and wrathful God into a joyful and loving one. The elements are designed to remind us that whatever wrath and anger and righteous judgment that God had toward us as sinners has been forever and eternally endured and satisfied by Jesus!
Is that not cause for joy and celebration and thanksgiving? Yes!
Do not come to the Table beating yourself up over your failures. Do not come berating your soul for all the ways you’ve failed God. Yes, acknowledge your sins and then rejoice that the body and blood of Jesus have forever secured for you the forgiveness and freedom you so desperately desire.
Charles Spurgeon wrote this hymn to be sung at communion. It truly expresses the range of appropriate thoughts and emotions that we should experience as we approach the Table:
“Amidst us our Beloved stands,
And bids us view His pierced hands;
Points to His wounded feet and side,
Blest emblems of the crucified.
What food luxurious loads the board,
When at His table sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet,
When Jesus deigns His guests to meet!
If now with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him,
Oh may His love the scales displace
And bid us view Him face to face.
Our former transports we recount,
When with Him in the holy mount;
These cause our souls to thirst anew,
His marr’d but lovely face to view.
Thou glorious bridegroom of our hearts,
Thy present smile a heaven imparts
Oh lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy glory see.”